I recently watched a movie my friend recommended called The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It is about a group of British senior citizens who retire to India. The hotel is not as good as they expected but soon they start to adapt to their new environment and begin their adventure. In the end, everybody seems to find their own peace and happiness. I really like it. I always admire people who dare to give up the “comfort and familiarity” they have and go out to seek what is unknown but perhaps true to them. It takes a lot of courage to do that. I really like the attitude of some of the characters, such as this widow Evelyn, who tries to get a job at a phone service company. I love how she describes, in detail, the art of dunking your biscuit in your tea. You soak the biscuit in the tea, and you need to calculate the exact moment before it dissolves, then you whip it up into your month and enjoy the blissful union of biscuit and tea combined. Because of this, she gets a newly created job by the manager: Cultural Advisor. :-)
I also made my own teatime dessert – a simple apple corn bread. Compared to the traditional bread which is made with yeast, this “bread” is closer to cake. However, it’s not that type of cake you bake for special occasions, but a “quick bread” type of cake that you bake for teatime, afternoon snack or breakfast. Unlike traditional corn bread, which tends to be a bit crumbly, I use syrup and apple juice to give it a fruity fragrance and extra moisture. This results in a perfect teatime cake with a brownie-like texture, which I happily enjoy with a glass of golden apple juice.
Health Index: ⅘ (4 to 5 times a week)
Kitchen Gadgets: Oven
2 cups cornmeal
2 cups wholewheat pastry flour
½ tsp sea salt
2 tbsp baking powder
½ cup soymilk
½ cup canola oil
¼ cup brown rice syrup
¼ cup agave nectar
1½ cup apple juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Heat the oven to 175°C (350°F), grease a 9×13 inch (23×33 cm) baking pan.
2. Combine and sift all dry ingredients, stir to mix well.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat soy milk, canola oil, rice syrup, agave nectar, apple juice and vanilla extract until they are dissolved.
4. Add the wet mixture gradually into the dry one and use a whisk first to lightly mix the batter, never beat it. Then switch to a silicon spatula and use a folding method to mix well.
5. Pour the batter into the greased baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. When a toothpick, inserted into the centre of the bread, comes out clean, it’s ready.